On November 9, the United States Naval Academy appointed a new Brigade Commander for the the next semester. Her name is Sydney Barber and she will be the 16th woman to be appointed to his highest rank a midshipman can as a student at the Naval Academy. She will be the first Black woman to achieve this rank in the 44 years since women have entered the Naval Academy. As Brigade Commander, she will lead the entire midshipman corps of the USNA.
Barber is a graduate of Lake Hills High School in Illinois. She is a mechanical engineering major and upon graduation hopes to become an officer in the United States Marine Corps. While attending the academy, she has competed all four years on the varsity track team as a sprinter and a hurdler. She is a USNA record holder in the 4X400m relay and has lettered for three years straight.
This young woman is engaged in many other activities at the Naval Academy as well. She is the co-president of the Navy Fellowship of Christian Athletes club, and is the secretary of the National Society of Black Engineers. She is a member of the USNA Gospel Choir and of the midshipman Black Studies Club.
Barber served as the 13th Company’s executive officer during this past summer’s Plebe Summer training program. She is currently the executive officer for the brigade’s 1st Regiment.
The outgoing Brigade Commander, Ryan Chapman, said of Barber: “She is a catalyst for action, a visionary, a listener, a doer and a person driven by compassion, by faith, by a fierce sense of passion and a heart full of love. Sydney is the perfect person to lead the brigade.”
The Veterans Site wishes to add its congratulations to Midshipman 1st Class, Sydney Barber on her appointment as next semester’s Brigade Commander at the United States Naval Academy. We wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas as you continue to pursue your academic duties and as you lead the brigade through the rest of the year as well as in your career in the Marine Corps.
We thank Sydney Barber for being a role model for all of us. Bravo Zulu!!!
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.